Not sure what to say when your kid comes out? Here are some suggestions that may help.
Coming out is a terrifying experience for many kids who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+. For many years, society has condemned members of the community and social media hasn’t been any more helpful in sharing the horror stories of many kids who were abandoned by their families for coming out. But instead of getting confused about what to say to our kids when they come out, here are the things you can say to break the ice.
1. “Thank you for trusting me and I love you no matter what.”
Complete and unconditional love and acceptance. Need we say more?
2. “No matter what, mom and dad are here.”
The biggest nightmare for any kid who comes out to their parents is to be abandoned due to society’s norms. We shouldn’t be that mom or dad. In this sensitive situation, all the more they need their mom and dad. Not someone who adheres to what society considers the norm.
3. “I already knew.”
We know our kids the best and we’re pretty sure we can sense these things. Telling them that we knew breaks the ice pretty well after our kids come out because that shows them we’ve accepted it a long time ago.
4. “No one can change you except you.”
There have been one too many stories about how parents drag their kids to “camps” or “conversion therapy”. Telling them that no one can change who they are except themselves shows your kids that you’ve accepted them and will not force them to change.
5. “You’re still my baby. Whatever or whoever your partner is, if they hurt you, they get it.”
The ever-loveable protective streak still applies. Sensitively worded humor really breaks the ice and tenseness after our kids come out. It also tells them, “I don’t mind who or what you love except if their personality and etiquette are worse than a cardboard box.”
6. “Do you have a preferred pronoun?”
Especially for those who transition and suffer from gender dysphoria, asking what their preferred pronoun can mitigate the depression and anxiety caused by the mismatch of their gender identity. It also helps them through the stress of the transitioning phase.
7. “Still, no dating until you’re done with school!”
The famous “aral muna” response comes into play because this shows one thing: you’ve accepted them for who they are. It’s the concept of dating you’re placing a boundary on. It’s a pretty reasonable one considering that finishing school is often a requirement to get a job.
For many members of the LGBTQIA+, coming out is a nightmare
The last thing our kids need when they come out is another enemy in society who’s too close to home. As their parents, we are their allies. Our religious beliefs may be strongly rooted but so is our love for our children. It’s a little shocking at first especially if we have certain aspirations for our kids. But their preference does not make them any less your child. Please remember for this Pride Month that our kids summoned all the bravery they could to come out to us. They trusted us knowing that we’d love them no matter what—because we told them that every day when they were small. Let’s stay true to that!